Vodacom Super 14

Reds surprise Waratahs

2010-01-23 16:00
Richard Kingi (File)
Lismore - The Reds scored a morale-boosting pre-season 26-24 win against their neighbours, the Waratahs in Lismore on Saturday.

Destined to meet the Waratahs in round one of this year’s Super 14, the Reds needed a 45 metre penalty with two minutes to go from flyhalf Tim Walsh to seal the victory, which sparked a celebration on the final whistle for the young Reds team.

The win will boost new coach Ewen McKenzie’s hopes of a season revival for the perennial bottom dwellers of the Southern Hemisphere competition, but it will be remembered that both sides were missing several Wallaby stars for the game.

Reds prop Jack Kennedy opened the scoring after the visitors forwards pummelled the Waratah defensive line, but they were soon at a disadvantage when hooker Saia Faingaa was sin-binned for fighting shortly afterwards.

The Waratahs took the quick penalty against a 14-man defence, with scrumhalf Josh Holmes scoring a try. Waratahs captain Daniel Halangahu converted to leave the sides 7-all at half-time.

After the sides exchanged penalties early in the second half, Brendan McKibbin kicked a penalty and scored a try to give the Waratahs a 17-13 advantage going into the last 20 minutes.

Walsh cut that lead to one point on 70 minutes, but a late try to Dylan Sigg and a conversion to McKibbin looked to have the Waratahs home at 24-16, but the Reds stormed back and a try to Richard Kingi, which was converted by Walsh kept them one point adrift.

Walsh then stepped up for the penalty to ensure the victory.

Reds coach McKenzie said the fact that the players had toughed it out to secure a win was helpful for the team's confidence after so many years of disappointment.

"We’re trying to develop some habits around winning so it’s a good result for us from a confidence point of view. I know people say it’s a trial and whatever but you’ve got to start somewhere," McKenzie told the team’s website.

“I was pleased with the defence, I was pleased with the flow of the game in terms of the ball use and the quality of the handling which I thought was pretty good. We didn’t make many mistakes.”


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